Sunderland’s defeat to Leicester U21s in the Leasing.com trophy has been met with a split reaction by fans.
Some are disappointed with yet another underwhelming performance and result to match, but others think it is a good thing, as defeat to Scunthorpe next week will see them exit the competition.
If that happens, they will only have the league and FA Cup to focus on, and that could enhance their chances of reaching their ultimate goal this season – promotion back to the Championship.
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The squad isn’t lacking players to rotate and keep things fresh – with 24 part of the first-team – but it is possible that last year’s participation in the FA Trophy, which saw them finish as runners-up, may have increased the fatigue of their players.
After all, a return of five points from their last five league games last season was a big factor in missing out on automatic promotion, and without such a distraction this time around fans hope it will increase their chances of being consistent until the end.
That is what is required for promotion, and since some fans only care about returning to the Championship, and eventually the Premier League, they have urged the club to concentrate solely on League One this year.
Here are some of the reactions from fans who hold that belief.
Couldn’t care less about any other competition. We need to keep putting the pressure on the top 2 and get out this division!!
— Glenn (@Glenn_Co6) November 6, 2019
It’s all about the league. Couldn’t give a flying fart about a cup run, however, the players still don’t look up for it. We get pockets of brilliance but nothing collectively. So disjointed, no natural leader.
— Lloyd Pinder (@FloydyP73) November 6, 2019
The two cups mean nothing. Last seasons trip to Wembley cost us promotion. We need to concentrate 100% on the league. We must ensure we win these games in hand. Stay in touch with the top 2 come Jan and desperate for a better striker we’ll do ok.
— Sunderlandmackem (@safcmackem73) November 6, 2019
Big failure with Ross was to prioritise Cup. As a Scot he was probably more excited with going to Wembley. Fans want promotion, nothing else matters.
— prince bruno (@wcharlton7) November 6, 2019
Harsh counting penalty shoot out defeat as a loss. Also totally discount the Wycombe game has he had no time to prep the team. So he’s won 2, drawn 1 and lost 2 for me. League form is what counts and he has two wins and most impressive two clean sheets & far more chances created
— Dan (@Dan1879_SAFC) November 6, 2019
Plenty of teams in our league last year were beaten by under 21/23 teams. It’s no big deal. The biggest deal is the league. The quicker we see it as priority and by that I mean playing more of our youngsters in this cup the better.
— Richy Duggan (@richyduggan) November 6, 2019